New NMLC Marine Animal Hospital arrives in Buzzards Bay Friday

Steel girders, joists will soon be the the marine animal rehabilitation center

   The Cape Cod Railroad Bridge stands in the background as steel girders are removed from a flatbad truck on a rainy and overcast Friday. All images courtesy

Six flatbed trucks rumbled down Main Street, Buzzards Bay early Friday morning.  Their backs groaned under the weight of steel girders, joist, supports and panels.  These sturdy parts will be assembled into the new National Marine Life Center Marine Animal Hospital at 120 Main Street where the foundation has been prepared and the building can begin to rise in the shadow of the Cape Cod Railroad Bridge.

nmlcThe NMLC Marine Animal Hospital as depicted in an architect's drawing.

The new hospital will open on October 30th just in time to accept patients from the fall sea turtle stranding season on Cape Cod.  Beginning in November, the rarest and most endangered sea turtles in the world will be treated and rehabilitated in this new marine animal hospital.  Soon, these first hard-shelled patients will be followed by seals, porpoises, dolphins and small whales.  So, as you drive by the ocean today, you may hear a few excited trills and clicks emanating from the sea as marine animals learn that there soon will be new hope for their survival when unfortunate circumstances intervene.

nmlcThe NMLC Marine Animal Hospital, once built, is expected to open in October.

The NMLC Marine Animal Hospital stands at the gateway to one of the world's most active stranding hotspots where hundreds of the most precious and endangered marine animals strand helplessly each year.  The vision and the mission of the National Marine Life Center is to restore life to the ocean.  The hospital rehabilitates endangered and protected marine animals for release back into the ocean.  The unique lessons the NMLC learns from these animals are conveyed to the public through its Discovery Center to inform future generations about the rich natural history of the region and to reinforce a conservation ethic within coastal communities.

For those who would like to help, a $100,000 Challenge is underway to double contributions through August 10th to ensure the new hospital opens its doors on October 30th.  People can also help build the hospital and save endangered marine animals by having a rip-roaring good time at the social event of the season, the Mermaid Ball, on the evening of August 7th.  The ball is hosted by Admiral Rick Gurnon at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and will include an admiral's reception, a buffet dinner, music and dancing, as well as silent and live auctions to support the mission of the National Marine Life Center.

For information about supporting the National Marine Life Center Marine Animal Hospital, or for Mermaid Ball reservations, call (508) 743-9888 or visit the NMLC web site at

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